by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : February 2018
and young adults in North America. In a 2014 review, Miller and colleag ues reported that com- pared to Americans 65 and older, those in their 20s were nearly three times as likely to have symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissism exists within virtually everyone to a degree, since at its core it is “the drive to feel special, to stand out from the other seven billion people on the planet, to feel exceptional,” arg ues psychologist Craig Malkin, author of the 2015 book Rethinking Narcissism and director of YM Psychotherapy and Consultation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Malkin argues that it can be a useful trait, providing self-confidence when we might otherwise give up on a goal. Teens with moderate narcissism tend to be less anxious and depressed, and to have better relationships, than teens at the high or low end of the scale. Scoring at the low end generally indicates basement-level self-confidence and self-regard. This disposition can be crippling: Me? I’ll never be able to do this. I might as well give up. Con- versely, extreme narcissism is characterized by a need to be treated as if you’re uniquely gifted, superior, and valuable. It breeds entitlement— Since I’m so g reat, I deserve everything I have and more—and a willingness to exploit: What are the inferior good for, anyway, other than to serve the superior? Extreme narcissists have little empa- thy: Feeling other’s pain makes no sense to them. When narcissists are challenged—especially to the point of humiliation—they tend to lash out in an effort (often subconscious) to preserve superiority. His biographers say that Steve Jobs was an extreme narcissist, infamous for scream- ing at his employees and calling them a term for fecal matter whenever he felt their performance, which would reflect on him, was lagging. Did he or other super-achievers have a mental disorder? Narcissistic personality disorder was almost dropped from the latest (2013) edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual (the DSM-5), partly because people with this constellation of traits are not necessarily dis- tressed or impaired by them. (A condition must cause distress or impairment to be considered a mental disorder, according to the DSM.) The debate highlighted an important facet of extreme narcissism: People who have the disorder do not rate its core traits—including sky-high self-regard and even the antagonism they typically feel for others—as undesirable. This research, presented by psychologist Joanna Lamkin of Baylor College of Medicine at the 2017 annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, found that narcissists don’t mind their egotistical traits: “They don’t want to change.” The suspicion that narcissists secretly know, deep down, that they’re merely ordinary is therefore almost certainly wrong. Psychologists once thought they might harbor such self-doubts, explaining why they lash out viciously when chal- lenged. Some still argue that the outward swagger and braggadocio masks profound self-doubt. But the emerging view is that there are in fact two forms of narcissism. Both have the core char- acteristic of extreme self-regard. On one hand, “grandiose narcissism” is marked by what Miller calls “florid immodesty” and extreme feelings of entitlement, which makes grandiose narcissists disagreeable, aggressive, outspoken, assertive, show-offy, and extroverted. In contrast, “vul- nerable narcissists” don’t think of themselves as better than everyone, Miller said; their high self-regard is absolute, not relative to others. Grandiose narcissists are people like Steve Jobs and, according to a famous 1997 study, US pres- idents. Most of them, from Washington to Rea- gan, qualified as moderate to extreme grandiose narcissists, judging by descriptions in historical records. Chester A. Arthur had the highest nar- cissism score; Calvin Coolidge, the lowest. When grandiose narcissists lash out, they’re not defending a secretly doubted superiority. Instead, they believe the rules of office behavior, friendship, marriage, and social interaction don’t apply to them. Being questioned and disagreed with are intolerable assaults on their superiority, and they make risky decisions because of “over- confidence in their own knowledge and abilities,” Miller said. Bernie Madoff thought his brilliance would let him fool not only his clients but also government reg ulators. This delusion earned him a 150-year prison sentence. Narcissus was known to be proud, and he held himself above everyone else, including those who loved him. Neme- sis—the goddess whose job it was to mete out punishment for hubris (arrogance toward the gods)—could see how Narcissus was carr ying him- self. So she caused him to be THE MYTH OF NARCISSUS attracted to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water. He immediately fell in love with it and was unable to understand that it was merely an image. Narcissus clung and clung to the beauty of his reflection, until he cared about nothing else. He stared at his reflection until he died. NARCISSISTS BELIEVE THE RULES OF OFFICE BEHAVIOR, FRIENDSHIP, MARRIAGE, AND SOCIAL INTERACTION DON’T APPLY TO THEM. Learn how to iden- tify and approach someone with nar- cissistic tendencies at mindful.org/ narcissism 36 mindful February 2018 brain science